Friday, October 26, 2007

Hang In There Southern California

I'm thinking why did I go to Indonesia when there are all sorts of natural disasters to contend with here in the United States? Four years ago, friends from my company, ESRI, based in San Bernardino County, sent pictures of the fires near Lake Arrowhead; many people were evacuated and some lost their properties. Here we are again, but across seven counties. It's almost unbelievable.

I logged on to a neighbor's blog and found out that the local school (right behind our house in California) is shut down today and tomorrow because of poor air quality.

Rob's uncle down in San Diego has not been evacuated YET, but everyone else within a two mile radius has. His wife's family has had houses on both sides of them burn down.

Check out this blog, run by ESRI staff who care, on how these fires and those of four years ago, compare.

We're praying for you, So Cal.

One of the things I love, love, love about the company that has kept me gainfully, if not creatively, employed for the last fourteen or so years is the remarkable charitable attitude the owner and founder, Jack Dangermond, has towards organizations that can benefit from his technology (geographic information systems - basically maps smarter than you'll ever be!). Thanks to the incredibly intelligent people (I do not include myself in this category) who are attracted to ESRI, they are able to support emergencies every year, including this year's fires.

While in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, I worked with the local government to fix their GIS licenses and get them up and running on our new technology. This required me to fanagle my buddy and senior sales dude to fly over and wheel and deal. After it was all said and done, my incredible company donated around $250,000 for emergency response software licensing. That perhaps is why I'm in marketing and not sales, I'm way too much overhead, eh? I think my hubby would concur.

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